Bear Spray—Your Best Choice for Predator Defense

This is my recommended accumulation of tools for predator attacks

This is my recommended accumulation of tools for predator attacks

In my last post I explained the reasons I don’t recommend firearms for self-defense against predators, so, if guns are a bad idea, what is a good idea? These are my recommended methods of self-defense

Bear Spray: Without doubt bear spray is the best defense against bears and any other four-legged predator. If you buy the one I recommend that comes with a chest holster, it is very light, very easy to carry, takes almost no practice, and is very unlikely to make the situation worse. There are many common myths about bear spray but let me assure you they have all been disproven and in Alaska it has been repeatedly tested in real life bear attacks and it is by far the very best choice. There have been enough attacks prevented with it to be certain that you are safer with bear spray than with a firearm. This is the one I recommend from because the owner of the company was himself mauled by a bear so he made the bear spray for himself. I’ve been carrying them for over 8 years and even shot off a whole can to be sure it worked. Highly recommended:  Super Magnum Bear Spray with Chest holster

Bear spray in a chest holster is your very BEST CHOICE for these reasons: It's light, simple, effective, easy to get out and shoot and won't make the situation worst.

Bear spray in a chest holster is your very BEST CHOICE for these reasons: It’s light, simple, effective, easy to get out and shoot and won’t make the situation worst. It can be shot without taking it out of the holster, saving seconds and maybe your life.

It comes with an excellent chest holder that allows you to wear it in the best possible position for nearly instant access. The holster is large enough and is somewhat stretchable so that while wearing it you can aim and fire it from your chest without even needing to pull it out of the holster. That makes it the very fastest and easiest defensive tool to use and that’s more important than anything.

Pocket Bear Spray: UDAP, the company that makes the bear spray with a holster that I recommend is selling a small version that goes on your key chain, I’m carrying it now as well and will also be a very good thing against human predators. Get it from Amazon here: Pepper Spray w/ Key Chain This is the hottest formula we have ever found.

Knives: I highly recommend you always carry a knife large enough to seriously hurt an animal. Most of us are much more likely to be attacked by a neighbor’s dog than we are to be attacked by a wild animal and a knife is a good weapon against a dog or coyote but it’s also better than nothing against a Mountain Lion or a Bear. Bear-spray is by far better, but there will certainly be times when you don’t have it with you. Almost all of us can put a knife in our pocket (the bigger the better but it has to be something you are willing to carry 100% of your life) and have it with us whenever we have our pants on. Getting some training would be good but not necessary.

Most of us can slash with a knife instinctively and just try to remember to go for the throat, eyes or mouth. I had a small pocket knife with me when I ran into the Mountain Lion and it was in my hand the whole walk home. I usually carry a Kershaw automatic knife but that was one of the rare times when it wasn’t with me; I had changed pants and not switched the knife. It’s made by Kershaw so it’s high quality but very inexpensive. Mine is an automatic—because seconds count and my right arm is too damaged to flick a knife. They are legal in most of the states and Canada and it’s what I recommend to you. Find it on Amazon here: Kershaw Folding Serrated SpeedSafe Automatic Knife

Spears: I know that’s going to sound very weird to you, but millions of animals have been killed by spears including many predators who were attacking the spear holder. They are a tremendously effective weapon, especially against Mountain Lions! A mountain lion is most likely to leap down at you from above or come at you from behind. Your only hope is to have a weapon in your hand that can be instantly be pointed at the Lion. A spear fits the bill perfectly. All you have to do is get turned toward the leaping Lion, raise the spear toward it and let it land on the spear. As you fall under the Lion’s weight the butt of the spear will hit the ground and be pointed up. The weight of the Lion will impale itself through the spear, killing it. Sometimes ancient technology is the very best!

The Cold Steel Bushman set up as a spear.

The Cold Steel Bushman set up as a spear.

I told you about my possible encounter with a Mountain Lion near Yosemite and as long as I was in that area I always carried a spear with me. You’re probably wondering why I just happened to have a spear in the truck! In fact I didn’t have one, but what I did have is a Cold Steel Bushman knife. It’s a unique knife that is designed with a hollow handle specifically so it can be turned into a spear. I was carrying a dowel with me so I whittled the end down to fit snugly into the handle. The handle has a hole in it so you can drive a screw through it and into the dowel to secure it in place. I did that and it’s very strong.

The spear is very easy to carry in your hand and comes up to a defensive position nearly instantly.

The spear is very easy to carry in your hand and comes up to a defensive position nearly instantly. The yellow thing around my neck is my whistle. I always have it with me.

I never saw or heard from the Lion again so I have no idea if it would have worked, but I felt much better carrying it. It was light and balanced enough that I wasn’t bothered by having it in my hands in the least—it became a very natural part of my walk. I even thought there was probably some way I could turn it into a walking staff. As I walked I went through in my mind what I would do if a Lion attacked and would even practice bringing it into position to develop muscle memory. I honestly believe it would have worked. The Cold Steel Bushman is an incredible knife for the price—the best available. See an astounding test of it as a spear here: and as a knife here: They actually destroyed the knife but what they had to go through to do it is unbelievable. Buy it from Amazon here: Cold Steel Bushman Knife-Spear head

Handguns: While I don’t recommend carrying a gun as defense against a bear or Lion, however, I do recommend it for defense against coyotes, dogs or snakes. While I have no fear for my safety from coyotes, I do have fear for Cody from coyote and dog attacks. He could be running in the woods or desert and run into them or he could be lured out to them, or he could even chase one into a trap. There is only one thing I can do to prevent any of that, and that’s to scare them away and the best way to do that is with a gun. I never expect to be close enough to a coyote to use any other weapon against them, but they all have heard gunfire before and I bet most of them have been shot at.

My plan is to carry my .357 in its chest holster (or maybe even get an ultra-light snub-nose .357 revolver to carry in my pants pocket) and whenever I think we are being stalked by a coyote I’m going to fire a shot or two near them. It’s not a very accurate weapon at a distance, and I’m not a good shot, so there is no way I’m ever going to hit one, therefore I won’t even try. I only want to scare them away, never kill them.

Could an air horn work? Possibly, but I think a handgun would be better. With a handgun it’s a sound they know and terrifies them and then there is also the very distinctive sound of the bullet whizzing by. Finally, there is the impact of the bullet in a tree or the ground nearby–that’s truly scary! Plus, the revolver can be used as a last-resort weapon in many circumstances while an air horn is only good for making a loud noise. Oddly, a snub-nose revolver would probably even be easier to carry. Get an air horn from Amazon here: Falcon Safety Super Sound Air Horn

Snakes are another reason to carry a handgun. Numerous times I’ve come across snakes on my walks, and twice I was just a few feet away because they failed to rattle and warn me. Because all my encounters have been far from camp, I left them alone. But I’ve had two friends who had snakes set up residence right in their camps and they had to kill them for their own safety (one cooked and ate it). You can get snake shot for the .357 which is perfect for snakes.

For whatever reason, this rattlesnake let me walk within a few feet of him without rattling. I'd never kill one far from camp, but in camp I would be willing to.

For whatever reason, this rattlesnake let me walk within a few feet of him without rattling. I’d never kill one far from camp, but in camp I would be willing to.

Walking Poles: I’m a big fan of Walking/Trekking poles, especially if there are any uphills or downhills on your path because they can protect your knees and build up your upper body strength. But they can also be used for self-defense, especially against dogs if you are in the city. One common piece of advice if you are ever face-to-face with a bear or mountain lion is to hold your hands over your head and make yourself as big as you can. By waving walking poles over your head, you make yourself look bigger and less appealing to the bear or lion. As a last resort you can use it as a poor spear.

Another use for walking sticks is to swing them in front if you to alert snakes that you are nearby so they will rattle, or to poke bushes to alert snakes of your presence. Black Diamond makes some of the best, get them from Amazon here: Black Diamond Trail Back Walking Pole

Whistle: Long ago I got in the habit of always having a whistle on the necklace I wear around my neck with a spare vehicle key. If  I’m in bear country I use it to warn bears that I’m coming by blowing on it often as I walk. Eliminating the chance to surprise them is the single best thing yo can do to prevent a problem before it happens. This is the one I own from Amazon: Adventure Medical Rescue Whistles


So here is what I’m trying to do:

  • On 100% of my walks, if there is a chance of bears being in the area I intend to carry bear spray. It has every advantage and no disadvantages. It’s cheap, safe, effective, easy to use and easy to carry. It’s foolish to fail to carry it on every trip into the backcountry.
  • I’ll always have my Kershaw folding, automatic knife in my pocket.
  • If I have any reason to believe coyotes are in the area (usually you can hear or see them) I’ll wear the .357 in its chest holder or slip the snub-nose .357 in my pocket. Because I have an Arizona Concealed Carry Permit I may even try to get in the habit of carrying it more often for two-legged predators.
  • I’ll start checking with the Forest Service to see if there have been many Mountain Lion sightings in the area, and if there have been I’ll carry my Bushman spear.
  • I always have my whistle with me.

I think this is a fairly balanced and reasonable approach. It uses methods specifically aimed at specific animals and is very easy to use and carry—which means it is something I might consistently do long term. And that’s the most important thing of all.
Super Magnum Bear Spray with Chest holster
Pepper Spray w/ Key Chain This is the hottest formula we have ever found.
Kershaw Folding Serrated SpeedSafe Automatic Knife
Cold Steel Bushman Knife-Spear Head
Falcon Safety Super Sound Air Horn
Adventure Medical Rescue Whistles
Black Diamond Trail Back Walking Pole


I've been a full-time VanDweller for 12 years and I love it. I hope to never live in a house again!

50 comments on “Bear Spray—Your Best Choice for Predator Defense
  1. Avatar Calvin R says:

    For my needs (exceptional versatility), I think the combination of pepper spray and a knife would probably serve me best, perhaps with bear spray to carry in grizzly country. I will note that in cities, post-911 paranoia requires remembering not to take these items into Federal buildings, including some post offices. Legal or not, they will cause the carrier trouble in those settings.

    I will need to learn more about knives; the difference between an “automatic” knife and a switchblade is important legally. Also, I would need a knife that requires very little in motor skills, because that’s what I have. In non-urban environments, that means a hunting knife for me. People in built-up environments will have reactions to those, so a concealed weapon will work better there if I find one I can deploy quickly or I could just depend on pepper spray in towns.

    • Avatar HOTROD says:

      hi Calvin,

      I also wanted to know if Bobs knive was “Assisted”(basicly a switch blade spring helps in opening . check your local laws) or is it just a thumb nob “flick” type. i think a poke with a spear right in the kisser of a bear might offer more protection then nothing at all.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Calvin, with my knife no flicking is required, it’s automatic. I broke my arm very badly and I can’t flick very well anymore.

      Walmart sells automatic knives, in fact they sell a Kershaw I would have bought except it was out of stock so I ordered the one I have from Amazon.

      Go into a Walmart and see if they sell automatic knives, if they do you are pretty safe that it’s legal!! I believe they are legal everywhere in the country and even in Canada.

      Switchblades are fully automatic and are illegal. “Assisted” means you have to move a lever with your finger to make it open and then the spring kicks in to open it. It’semi-automatic like a rifle, you have to pull the trigger every time.

      If you can move your finger, you an open this knife.

      • Avatar HOTROD says:

        Thanks Bob,

        Good to know. Staying in a progun state is smart. would not want to deal with say California’s laws.
        Even thou i think its a very beautifuil state.

        For the general information of all people here i found some info at these links.
        In general it is my opion & understanding of the law that state laws apply to the NF or BLM first and formost. do not trust what a person at a ranger station says they may be ill informed about the law. Call the people who will come out to arrest a person for gun law vilations. ask them what the law is. Everyone is very evasive on the subject. Motivated from the top down, i am sure. But we are free people and its our right. Stay safe all. God bless all freedom loving people.

        • Bob Bob says:

          HotRod, I was a campground host for 3 years in the Sierras in California and often had campers carrying Glocks on their hips. I was lucky and the first time it happened I had a National Forest LEO Law Enforement Officer drive through the campground. He was not a Ranger, his truck said LEO and he had a Glock on his hip. Rangers don’t routinely carry guns, only LEOs.

          I asked the LEo if I could allow the camper to carry the Glock in my campground, he said “Sure, it’s his second ammendment right.”

          I didn’t think to ask about concealed carry, and I have always regretted it.

      • Avatar Calvin R (Ohio) says:

        Follow-up: four days after this discussion, a friend gave me an automatic knife pretty much exactly like the Kershaw I wanted online. A week ago, I would have passed it up, but last night I took it as a hint from a Higher Power.

  2. Avatar HOTROD says:

    I like it! All sounds good to me Bob. I will be doing the very same thing.
    Just have a few concerns that maybe you can put at ease.
    1. With gun (outside waist band holster) & spear in hand has this ever alarmed foolish and naive people to the point they appeared frightened and report to rangers that there is a “crazy man” out there with weapons? I am sure when snakes, bears and wolfs appears before them , to eat them, they will just with their liberal psychic powers to commune with the animals like aqua man , hug and carry on their merry way down the trail? Lol

    Thanks for your reply and….walking sticks are very expensive if you go online you will see. Heres a tip. Any home depot type store will sell replacement mop/broom sticks. Some are high quality hard wood and are very cheap. Like in less than 10 bucks vs. hundreds for fancy hardwood walking stick online. I use one now and its great. Keep safe all and enjoy life now 

    • Bob Bob says:

      Hot rod, bear in mind, I spend nearly all my time in fairly remote places. Other than cars drving by, I rarely see people and rarely have a gun in the open

      I have a CCW and so I can carry my snubie in my pocket. As far as I know open carry is legal in all federal National Forests, BLM and now National Park land so i don’t really worry about it.

      The spear is only for mountain lions and they are only in the most remote places. I don’t expect to see many people there and those I do I expect to understand the reason for carrying weapons.

      I also spend most of my time in pro-gun states where it is common to see people walking around with a gun on their hip

      • Bob Bob says:

        Hot Rod, if you are walking on level ground, then a wood stick is fine.

        However, there best use is for when climbing hills or mountains where they are essential as far as I am concerned. For that use, they really must be adjustable length and extremely light. Going up hill they need to be short, and going downhill they need to be very long.

        When climbing anything, weight is critical and ounces mean a huge amount.

        I spent the money on a good pair and have never regretted it.

  3. Avatar Omar Storm says:


    Enjoy the Dakotas, but be aware Sturgis is having the annual biker rally. We’ll catch up next time.


    • Bob Bob says:

      Omar, I came to try to see Sturgis during the Rally, but I’m camped above Spearfish, SD now and think I may have chosen badly!! Traffic everywhere is really bad!

  4. Avatar Joy says:

    I agree with this nicely written article. Some of us might not be able to afford bear spray, and in a pinch, isn’t having a can of wasp.hornet spray, that shoots out a number of feet a doable emergency thing to have around?

    • Avatar Canine says:

      No. If that is the only thing you have, then go for it. You could throw some dirt at your attacker as that is better than nothing as well. Pepper spray is absolutely without a doubt in every way a better choice.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Joy, shooting a human with it is illegal and I’m not certain about how well it would work against a bear. If I’m betting my life on it, I’d rather spend the money and be confident in it.

  5. Avatar chet says:

    “But I’ve had two friends who had snakes set up residence right in their camps and they had to kill them for their own””
    You got that one backwards, Bob. They set up camp right in the snake’s living room.

  6. Avatar Canine says:

    When I researched the best way to defend oneself against a domestic dog attack, I found that stabbies are more effective than slashies.

  7. Avatar CP says:

    Years ago I saw some fiberglass ski poles at a garage sale. They had a metal tip that seemed pretty strong. I thought that someone could cut off the pads (they were laced on with leather strips) it would make a great walking stick/spear.

  8. Avatar Gary says:

    Yes to the ski pole. I use an aluminum straight pole, no basket, 47″, light weight and strong. The hardened tip will puncture but wouldn’t be much in a swiping motion.
    Bob,how do you deal with states like Cali, OR, WA not accepting the AZ permit?

    • Bob Bob says:

      Gary, I’m very sorry to be so late responding. Your comment got trapped in spam checker hell!!

      I have never carried concealed so it’s not a big loss to me. I only got the permit so there wouldn’t be any question about having a loaded gun inside the van. If I travel to one of those states, I’ll have to unload the gun and separate the bullets. I think that will make me legal.

  9. Avatar Rita says:

    Thank you for such a thorough rendering on this subject. I am an older woman truck camping a lot and I have a whistle, a hatchet, a poker, and a Bill Moran hunting knife, but never carried any of it around. I will adopt your idea of wearing the whistle and spare truck key, at least.

    I am often in black bear country, and mountain lions are coming out of the wild following the deer into the towns a lot more these days. My daughter didn’t like it when I talked to my 10 yo granddaughter about it, but I noticed she quit running around in the woods by herself. I read the local papers. Some farmers were reporting losing calves not far away and had seen a mountain lion around.

    I have thought about firearms and permits. I hunted as a kid. Not sure about it. I have managed to sweet talk my way out of trouble with two leggeds so far. I would like to hike alone but am afraid to do it. I was so fearless in my youth. Thank you for these great ideas. This might pry me out of my truck.

    • Bob Bob says:

      I understand your fear Rita, our society controls us with fear and so it’s constantly being drilled into our heads.

      My suggestion is to confront your fears slowly. Take precautions like I laid out here and slowly start venturing away from the truck. Not too far, just until you feel the fear, then go back. Very slowly increase it and I think your fear envelope will get bigger and allow you to travel further from the truck.

      I also suggest you talk and reason with your fear, It’s a good thing and keeps us safe. But it has become exaggerated by the constant bombardment of fear-mongering in our society. Thank it for keeping you safe and reassure it you have taken all reasonable precautions and you are now going to go 25 feet further away from the truck than you did last week and you’ll see that we are safe.

      Slow and steady, always with reasonable caution, you’ll get further away from the truck.

    • Avatar Ming says:

      Hi Rita, a good self defense course for women might help with the fears too, and give some practical tools to work with.

    • Avatar Ming says:

      thanks for the info, Bob. I don’t know anything about guns so I’ll have to look up some of what you talked about. You do go down the trail more armed than me. In your years outside, may I ask what have you had the occasion to use so far, on the defense front? Oh, and I recommend a good first aid kit. I’ve had to use that from time to time.

      • Bob Bob says:

        Ming, I have never had to use any tool in self-defense in my whole life. Remember, when I ran into the mountain lion I was defenseless–I am so comfortable in the backcountry I almost NEVER carry anything except the knife and whistle that I almost always have with me.

        The mountain lion was a wake up call that I really should be carrying something. To be honest, the posts were more for my fearful readers than me. A week after that, and a move to more populated areas, and I’ve already started to go back to carrying nothing. I have no fear in the backcountry and have to force myself to carry bear spray.

        • Avatar Ming says:

          yes, I’m kind of the same, I really have to remind myself to bring the bear spray, I don’t carry a knife where I can reach it easily – it’s a tiny neck knife, so it could be done easily, but I’ve just never had trouble with animals. I think a lot of it is attitude. If the time comes, can you project confidence and threat toward them and intimidate them away? That’s most of the battle.

  10. Excellent series on backcountry safety. Thanks for taking the time to put this together and share your experiences and conclusions.

    I do a fair bit of backcountry hiking now in Wyoming (previously in Montana) so bears, mountain lions, and rattlesnakes are always a concern. I like the holistic approach you have taken rather than just relying on one tool to handle every job (firearm or bear spray, for example).

    Are you still hanging around Spearfish? I am temporarily in Gillette, Wyoming and was actually over in Sturgis this past weekend checking out motorcycles. Car camped in the Black Hills National Forest just south of Sturgis the night I was over there. Planning to hit the road full-time around Thanksgiving this year when my temporary project being a nanny for two of my granddaughters is finished 🙂

    • Bob Bob says:

      Robert, I’m sorry but we just missed each other! I had a really nice camp above Spearfish but that night the thunderstorms were very severe, the worst I’ve ever been in while in a van. Cody was shivering in the corner and I have to admit I was scared also. I tried to get out early to go to Sturgis and the road I was on was iffy but I tried in anyway and got stuck. Oh well, life happens, I just waited tell noon for it to dry and got it fine then.

      The traffic was horrendous in Spearfish so I asked a biker who had just come from Sturgis if I could drive through town in an hour, he said maybe, but I should plan on at least two hours.

      I gave up on the whole idea and headed south. I’m camped in the Medicine Bow NF near Wheatland, WY now and will go down to the Snowy Range Scenic drive probably tomorrow.

      Sorry to miss you, hopefully I’ll see you this winter in Quartzsite!

  11. Avatar Barbara says:

    Bob, thanks for great advice. When I started out van dwelling, my son insisted I take his bear spray and bear bells from his trek thru Yosemite back country…. and I am glad I did.
    So far only at Ash Fork, AZ in early Spring 2015 have I spotted a bear, and a small black one at that. Clue. Figured if Chloe and I wanted to wander about, take the spray, wear the bells. And bells on Chloe as well, you betcha’
    After Chloe’s encounter with a rattler at Wickenberg [where they have a sport called “snakin” cuz there’s so many in the area], and where a large cat serenaded us one night looking for a buddy, she wears one in their territory, consistently.
    See ya at RTR this year.

  12. Avatar Zman says:

    Hiker recently killed by bear (mamma) partially eaten with defensive marks on his forearms in Yellowstone NP was NOT carrying bear spray it was reported, your wisdom and knowledge Bob comes thru again!

    P.S. my wife is on board for the RV life style PTL just need to get son#2 graduated and on his own

    P.S.P.S.Your thoughts on “Bigfoot” if you care to comment.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Zman, it is really silly to walk in Yellowstone without bear spray and you are asking for troubles. Because the bears are never hunted, they lose their natural fear of men.

      I know what you mean, I had to wait to retire and hit the road until my youngest son graduated. Hang in their, it’ll come soon enough!

      I can go either way on Bigfoot. It’s easy for me to see how an ancient branch of the primate family between the apes and humans could live in the very remote parts of North America with only occasional spottings. But, neither is their proof. So I can go either way. I’ve seen a few episodes of Les Strouds series on it, and there wasn’t proof but it made me much more inclined to believe it.

  13. Avatar Rick Clements says:

    Hi Bob,
    Great post/discussion on bear safety! I’m just retired and looking forward to my first snowbird season of fleeing 3 or so months of Canadian winter in Arizona.

    In my earlier working life (15 years worth) I was a forest technician and worked daily in black bear and grizzly country in central and northern British Columbia. Our crew’s first line of safety – which has not yet been mentioned – was a bear bell. Everyone wore one and also carried bear spray. Number of bear encounters during those 15 years – 0. As you mentioned in the “whistle ” section if you give them some notice you’re coming most of the time they’ll avoid you. Advantage of bell over whistle – makes noise as long as you’re moving.
    Speaking of “giving them notice” always felt more comfortable when the wind was at my back – blowing my scent ahead of me. When walking with the wind in my face I make sure that bear bell is rattling loudly and regularly!

    • Bob Bob says:

      Thanks Rick. Bear bells are good things and I have used them before. I’m not impressed with how much noise they make compared to a whistle but then you have to remember to blow the whistle. But it seems to me that unless you try to vigorously shake them, they really make very little noise. That’s when I switched to the whistle. I got more noise for the effort.

      I’ve surprised bears on the trail 6 times and each time they just ran away as fast as they could.

  14. Avatar Bobby says:

    Hello Bob. I read most of articles and reply. I have been travel as Trans-America Trail since March. I do carry gun but not on my hip. I does have CCW permit of Alabama and good for few states. I have knifes, matchele, stun gun, and crossbow in my SUV. When I camped at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserves. I saw rangers stop by at campsite where the campers left all coolers out while they are hiking. I went to them and told them where they went. I did asked to ranger about gun on bear. She said doesn’t work because bear will attack when injury. Best to make the noise like clap the pots or screaming and clap hands hard. On other hand, ranger didn’t arrest or ticket me for having gun in National park. I had no problems with many rangers while I camping many places. Right now I’m on last leg of TAT to Oceano, CA for camping and 4wheeling in sand dunes and swimming Pacific Ocean. Hope u have great time 4th of July Bobby

    • Bob Bob says:

      Bobby, thank you for you very nice comment, it sounds like you are having a wonderful adventure. I’d love to meet you if you have the time. I’m in Colorado now headed toward Wyoming later in the month. If you happen to be in the area, drop by.

  15. Avatar Bradford says:

    Great stuff Bob and your better off in the mountains, the heat and humidity are really stifling here in the southeast.

  16. Avatar Marci says:

    Great article Bob. A couple of comments. One regarding wearing bells in bear country. I have two friends who have convinced me not to use bells. One of these friends is a wildlife biologist and he said bears are curious and will come check out the bell noise and that it was much better to talk or call out very few minutes. Bears know the human voice and are more inclined to leave the area. My second comment is regarding pepper spray or bear spray. If you carry pepper spray, carry it where is it is easy to grab with nothing that can get in your way. You may only have a second or two to respond, if the bear decides to charge. Pepper spray is also excellent for the two legged predator. I have spent the last 20+ years hiking in bear country and thankfully have only seen them from a distance.

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